Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The big dogs

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Hippo's serves a crowded Chicago-style hot dog: a steamed, all-beef, natural-casing wiener slid into a poppy seed bun and topped with mustard, onion, outrageously green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. But Chicago-style isn’t the only dog in the house. There are loads of choices between a bun. The slaw dog comes heaped with coleslaw and mustard. Sauerkraut and relish top a New York dog. Local cultural sensitivity is evident with the inclusion of the coney dog. Big stomachs will crave an “Ultimate Dog.” That’s a quarter pound hot dog complete with Chicago-style toppings, sauerkraut and giardineira (hot, marinated vegetables) all smothered under double chili. You might want to bring help for that one. Or try a “Great Scot Hippo” — it’s double-sized. Open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No smoking.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Turning Japanese

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2007 at 12:00 AM

In a stylish setting, bandana-clad sushi chefs vigorously chop and slice at the sushi bar turning out first-rate sushi and sashimi. But for the sushi-shy, there's also an interesting limited array of other Japanese standards. Ronin offers only 5 entrées ($11-$28) but with noodles, fish, fowl and beef, most gastronomic bases are covered. The chilled green-tea noodles in lemongrass oil. Of the 20-odd beers available, nine are on tap, including Kirin Ichiban. Not surprisingly, the bar is well stocked with sake, along with an intelligently selected group of 10 bottles of wine, four of which cost between $20 and $28.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Beer & board

Posted By on Wed, Oct 17, 2007 at 12:00 AM

A highlight of the lunch and dinner menu is a plate of sliders. These little celebrations sport a heap of sweet caramelized onions and a side of au jus for dipping. For something slightly lighter, try the crisp cherry walnut salad - slightly lighter only because it's topped by a mound of bacon bits that's about the size of a softball. Or try a plate of huevos rancheros: two crispy corn tortillas layered with black bean spread, a generous dose of sauteed peppers and onions, eggs sunny-side-up and topped with melted cheddar. On the side are potatoes, baked and then flash-fried crispy on the outside and sprinkled with large chunks of onion and pepper. The other side of the plate is reserved for avocado slices and mandarin orange wedges. New specials include $5 burger Tuesdays, and breakfast is served exclusively Saturdays and Sundays until 2 p.m. Anyway, whatever you get, wash it down with a creation from the well-stocked Bloody Mary bar and it's certain the rest of the day will unfold in your favor.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Way to go, Ohio

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Walk into what appears to be a handsome long ballroom in an Italian villa, seating two hundred, and eat traditional classics, beginning with generously proportioned appetizers, and moving on to Milanese veal, gorgonzola lamb chops, lasagna Bolognese, five different cuts of beef or 10 imaginatively constructed pasta dishes.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Beyond chop suey

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Start with a steamed vegetable dumpling, move on to the cold smoked duck appetizer, then try the soft-shell crab with garlic sauce or the Chinese eggplant stuffed with minced shrimp. This food isn't overly Americanized, and adventurous (and stubbornly persistent) American customers can demand a taste of genuine Chinese fare.

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